Author. Simone de Beauvoir, a French author, has become to be known as "the mother of post-1968 feminism." As the life partner of Jean Paul Sartre, she was linked to his existentialism philosophy. Born Simone Lucie Ernestine Marie Bertrand de Beauvoir, she was the older of two sisters in a middle-class family, who lost much financially during World War I. The lack of funds limited her choice of husbands, thus she started supporting herself. Since her mother was a devoted Catholic, as a child, she attended Catholic schools, yet abandoned any religious faith as a teenager. She was described by her father as precocious and uncommonly intelligent for a woman. She became a secondary school teacher. She audited classes at École normale supérieure in Paris. After passing baccalaureate exams in mathematics and philosophy in 1925, she studied mathematics at the Institut Catholique de Paris; literature and languages at the Institut Sainte Marie; and philosophy at the Sorbonne, earning her Master of Arts degree in 1928. She is best known for her work "The Second Sex" in 1949, which contained detailed analysis of women's oppression. Other major works include "The Guest" in 1943 and her five-volume autobiography, "Mémoires d'une jeune fille rangée" in 1958. She was buried with Sartre.
Bio by: Linda Davis